Poultry Building Removal Program

Wicomico County is pleased to announce and reveal the beginning of Clean Up Wicomico – Poultry Building Removal Program. This program will serve a multitude of favorable purposes through the removal of abandoned poultry buildings and structures.  With the removal of these structures, the Program will assist local farmers in our community in reducing accumulated contaminated nutrient runoff and converting the impervious areas to pervious choices.

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Wicomico County is composed of approximately 88,559 acres of farmland.  Identifying this statistic allowed for the County to fully recognize significant improvement opportunities in which a multitude of economic, financial, environmental, and regulatory benefits could be implemented.   Wicomico County Public Works is eager to support and partake in offering assistance to agricultural land owners while also promoting environmentally friendly methods of Poultry Building removal.   

Removal of existing abandoned Poultry houses significantly reduces accumulated nutrients that seep into the groundwater.  As agricultural resources and needs are changing and adapting to the ever-present challenges and varying dependencies, more and more chicken houses are abandoned and outdated or past their life cycles.

The County’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements track existing impervious surfaces located within the County limits.  The County’s MS4 permit requires 20% reduction in impervious surfaces within the jurisdiction.  The demolition of the poultry houses and conversion would also supplement this program and assist in meeting its requirements.  The main requirements of the program involve the removal of the poultry structure and the formerly impervious area being replaced with pervious surfaces.  Three options of remediation to perviousness are available to choose from which allows for flexibility at each location’s varying needs or beneficial attributes.   The Poultry houses can be converted into a grassed area, remediated back to row crops, or planted with native trees.

Removal and replacement must be performed in accordance with all applicable laws, municipality guidelines, rules and regulations which also includes local Wicomico County Soil Conservation District Standard Erosion and Sediment Control Plan limitations, conditions, and requirements. (https://wicomicoscd.org/)

Wicomico County will support participation by investing time, resources, and financial relief to those who seek to participate.  The County will utilize MS4 funds to pay all landfill tipping fees for the exterior poultry building demolition debris and materials.  The property or structure owner will be responsible for any and all non-building structure materials within the building, including residential or commercial trash, which will not be accepted to participate in tipping fee assistance.

The Clean Up Wicomico – Poultry Building Removal Program will be administered by the Wicomico County Department of Public Works Department.  Each project with be efficiently tracked on the status and progress at each stage of the program requirements.   In order to properly track the progress, the project location must first produce and submit an existing site condition plan for review by the County staff with an accompanying copy of the executed maintenance agreement.  Once all required documentation is submitted and approved, the proposed activity will qualify for the assistance of the cost of the tipping fee at the Newland Park Landfill.  In addition to applicants providing appropriate documents, photographs of the pre-demolished project site and the post remediated site will be required for record keeping within the County’s Solid Waste Division.  At this time, areas with nuisance code violations on private property, commercial activity cleanups, and hazardous waste cleanups are not applicable for program assistance.   

An application form for any property owners wishing to pursue aid in facilitating a structure removal activity can be found by visiting the Wicomico County Public Works Solid Waste Division website.